That nightmare is your foreign affairs minister

David Emerson

I couldn't but help recall, as I stood around the entrance to Rideau Hall today, what David Emerson said on the evening of Jan. 23, 2006 as it became clear that the Liberal government in which he was a minister was clearly about to lose: “”We have got to look at this as Ground Zero for rebuilding a stronger, more vibrant, healthier, winning Liberal Party,” Emerson hoarsely shouted. “I would like to be Stephen Harper's worst nightmare.”

And now today

Emerson is widely viewed in the capital as among Harper's most capable ministers, just as he was in former prime minister Paul Martin's cabinet, where he served as industry minister. Emerson was vilified by many in his riding of Vancouver-Kingsway when, after being elected as a Liberal in the 2006 election, he crossed the floor a week later, to join Harper's first cabinet.

On the night of that 2006 election as Martin's government was falling, Emerson vowed to be “Stephen Harper's worst nightmare.” Ironically, he may have become Harper's dream minister, a reliable policy-problem solver who, among other things, chairs two powerful cabinet committees, one on Afghanistan and another on economic affairs.

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